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TB Notes 1, 2004

Seminar Series – Collaboration Between the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Tuberculosis Control and the Medical Society of the State of New York

As the science around diagnosis and treatment of TB evolves, and as new guidelines for management of infection and disease are issued, it is critical to ensure new information is disseminated to those actively engaged in managing patients. One of the challenges faced by TB control programs is developing strategies or forums for providing new and updated information. Physicians, as a group, are sometimes difficult to access for continuing education. Recognizing the challenges associated with reaching the practicing physician, the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Tuberculosis Control (BTBC), contracted with the Medical Society of the State of New York’s (MSSNY) educational subsidiary, the Medical, Educational and Scientific Foundation, Inc. (MESF), to collaborate on a series of TB educational programs. 

The MSSNY contacted local medical societies to establish date, time, location, registration information, and a contact person, and subsequently promoted the educational initiative to its 27,000 members. The BTBC also identified local physician experts to present the programs and customize the presentation to highlight local data. The program was presented as a 2-hour dinner-lecture, which included a 45-minute presentation with an additional 15-minute question-and-answer period. Handouts included a copy of the PowerPoint presentation, the CDC Core Curriculum, national guidelines and recommendations, case report forms, local data, and resources for additional TB information at the local and state level.

The contract with the MSSNY operated in two successive years. The first year’s program, “TB: The Continuing Challenge,” was held in 10 sites over a 3-month period and reached over 300 physicians. The core elements of the program included epidemiology and current TB trends in New York State, targeted testing and treatment of latent TB infection, an update on new treatment recommendations and guidelines, and state and local reporting requirements. Since over 60 percent of reported TB cases in New York State are among foreign-born populations, the second program series focused on “TB and Other Health Issues in Refugee and Immigrant Populations.”  The topics addressed in this program were related to newly arrived immigrants and refugees who have a high risk for communicable diseases. The program outlined the geographic areas of origin of immigrants and refugees, described recommendations for medical examinations, and gave the mandatory reporting procedures. In a 3-month period, 392 physicians attended one of the 14 sponsored seminars throughout the State.

Results from the 287 evaluations submitted in the second year showed more than 80 percent of the attendees felt the information they received would positively influence their practices.  Over three-quarters of those surveyed felt the information provided was new and helpful in raising awareness and insight into the medical and social problems of newly arrived immigrants and refugees. Most attendees felt the information provided an enhanced understanding of TB and other diseases, and having the opportunity to network and discuss these types of patients with colleagues, as well as confer with the local leading expert in the field, proved to be a valuable experience.

    —Submitted by Judi A. Bulmer and
John C. Grabau, PhD, MPH
Bureau of Tuberculosis Control
New York State Department of Health


Released October 2008
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